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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Creating an Oustanding Portfolio

Creating a portfolio both online and off is crucial to the serious artist seeking long term work. A portfolio is the essence of the artists overall life work, and should contain only those pieces that the artist considers his best work. In the beginning, this may seem difficult, and often as we grow as artists, our best work will be left in the dust by better pieces.  Regardless, only chose those pieces that are outstanding. 

It may be worthwhile to seek an outside critique of ones work. A good critique will identify both strong and weak points, and should explain itself in terms that will help the artist grow and improve. Artist critiques though and often not for the faint of heart, and often times individuals become incensed when they are confronted with critiques that points out amateurish, or weak areas. For those individuals that are ready to receive constructive criticism use the information as a launching point for improvement. If you don't feel ready for a critique, or find that you are very sensitive about your works, hold off on seeking outside review.  Critiques, even good ones can be devastating for early rising artists, and more often than not early on an artist should devote themselves to their craft, not another opinion of it

In creating portfolios, it may be necessary to create more than one if you create in more than one medium, or have more than one subject for painting.  My online portfolio is actually a collection of three individual portfolios, one for animal art, landscape and experimental works. Each one is different, but all can be found under my still in progress online portfolio. 

My online portfolio here is still being worked on, and will continue to be updated as long as I continue to paint. The portfolio, whether online or off should be considered a dynamic thing, and should be regularly updated to reflect new works, trends, and painting styles that you are exploring. 

For offline works, a professional 11 x 14 zippered portfolio can be obtained reasonably in online stores and big box art supply shops.  Ideally the portfolio, should it be sent to a gallery for review, should only contain copies of your work. Never Ever send originals unless a gallery has agreed to take on your pieces, and always send return shipping for your portfolios trip back home.  
There are many online venues for those just getting started. Some offer free uploads, others are pay sites. Most of these sites have community forums that can be invaluable for the rising artist just trying to find his sea legs.  Additionally I have made many friends, and forged connections that offered me opportunities to show in very real venues.

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